How do you identify your USP? For most estate agents, this is not a simple question to answer. If you look at any estate agency website, they all list off the same kind of features to people, we can do professional photography, we do floor plans, we have a blend of old fashioned values and new technology, we can do video tours, but they are not USP'S because every estate agent has got them on their website.
I saw a Facebook advert from a massive national brand the other day and the best that they could come up with was the same sort of thing, we do video tours and professional photography and a social media post with a big 'new' next to it like anyone was going to think to themselves wow that's incredible! I've never known any company to be able to do that!
I have calls with estate agents, all day every day of my life, and when I ask them to tell me what's so great about them, as opposed to their competitor up the road, they struggle to tell me and usually say, we give a personal service. But the thing is, everybody's telling me that they give a personal service, therefore it is not a USP.
I know anyone who's reading this may be thinking to themselves ‘no but we actually do give a personal service’. But you have to be able to actually quantify that to people. What does that mean? What is a personal service? You may think to yourself, well it's obvious, isn't it? I'll return your phone calls! But the client is not expecting anybody not to return their phone calls, so it is hardly a ‘benefit’. They are also not expecting anybody not to do professional photography neither are they expecting anybody not to be trustworthy, or not to use technology blended with old fashioned values etc.
These are all things that are just in your head, you need to be able to actually quantify them to people. So how does a company actually come up with some USP'S that are difficult for somebody else to just copy?
In order to do this, you have to start looking at your history, your background and where your value lies. How did you get into estate agency? Why have you stuck with it for so long? What is it in your background that led you to this place? And what is it that's so unique about your history, that you can tie in with why you feel that you're the best agent?
As an example, I worked with an agent who used to be in the armed forces. He led teams through Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. Now he works as an agent. And so when we sat down and tried to look at what his USP'S are that make it difficult for other people to copy we started digging into his past. And we came up with the solution that basically most people are worried their estate agents are just in it for themselves, as opposed to something like an army officer whereby they lead their teams and no man's left behind and they get set extremely difficult missions to complete. Well, what if you could have that same level of service in estate agency? My background is that I've led teams through Northern Ireland and Afghanistan and I've received commendations from the army on my exemplary service. I bring that to estate agency, I'll have your back, I'll make sure that you're not left behind, and that we're in this together, and we get through to the final hurdle, as a team, as opposed to somebody who's just in it for a little bit of commission and doesn’t really care if you achieve what it is you're trying to achieve or not.
Now if somebody wants to copy that value, they need to go back 20 years and join the army and do all of the things that he did. It doesn't mean that you have to have joined the army to have a USP. It doesn't matter what your background is, you could have been a drop out from school and homeless for half of your life and just got into estate agency, you can still turn that around into being why it is that you're so passionate about what you do and how you bring value to people, if that was your circumstances you understand what it's like to struggle. You worked hard and now as an estate agent you appreciate every day that you are able to do that job, and you do your very best to help people through their circumstances, and no one can copy that USP.
So try and have a deep think about the things that make you special, the things that make us different are our superpowers. Think about that. Break it down and then think about how that relates to your everyday life and why you feel so passionately about what you do.
Are you a rule breaker? What in your background tells the tale that shows people you don't conform, that you don't believe things have to be a certain way.
Are you an ex Regional Director for a corporate estate agency? Bring that to the table let people know what your experience is don't just summarise it into ‘professional experience’ or ‘personal service’ as that means nothing to anybody.